Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterTucson Padres (SD) 3, @ Las Vegas 51s 1
The Tucson Padres scored three runs in the top of the 9th and held on to beat the Las Vegas 51s 3-1 Friday night at Cashman Field. However, with Sacramento’s loss at Tacoma, the 51s magic number was trimmed to one and they can clinch the PCL Pacific Southern Division crown with one more win or one Sacramento loss over the next three days.
Rafael Montero got the start for Vegas and he was outstanding: 6.1IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8K. His AAA era is now 3.05 in 16 appearances. It’s the third time in the last five starts the righty has struck out eight or more and the third time in the last four starts he’s walked one or fewer. He threw 88 pitches (59 strikes), continuing his wonderful stretch of control, which has been his trademark all season.
The 51s had six hits in the game, none of which went for extra bases. Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in the only run and was 2-4 on the night. Juan Centeno had the best game at the plate, going 2-2 with a walk and a run scored, raising his average to an even .300.